University Press Roundup: #UPWeek 2017 Edition


It’s University Press Week 2017! In celebration of this year’s excellent UP Week Blog Tour, we are happy to present a special University Press Week UP Roundup. Be sure to read our contribution to the week on making sales calls during the election season of 2016, and, from a previous year’s UP Week, take a look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do our Roundup posts every Friday.

On the topic on how university presses are making a difference in today’s landscape, Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s blog featured a thought-provoking blog post from Indigenous scholar and fiction writer Daniel Heath Justice on the importance of Indigenous literature and scholarship.

The University of Toronto Press’s blog contained several engaging posts, the first titled “The Power of History to Galvanize and Energize,” which discussed the importance of making scholarship accessible to students and how it can influence and ultimately create better citizens.

George Mason University Press emphasized the critical role of university presses in the search for the elusive truth. Through a discussion of Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World, readers learn how the author uncovers the true story of Playfair’s involvement in the first covert operation in history to collapse a nation’s economy.

Tuesday’s theme of “Selling the Facts” contained an array of perspectives from booksellers and bookstores selling in today’s political climate.

The University of Toronto Press blog highlighted the experiences from the road of their Higher Education Sales representative, Mike Byer. In particular, Byer explores the impact that selling books with powerful messages can have on their intended audiences but also on those charged with the task of bringing them to a broader public. On the flipside, The University of Texas Press’s blog featured the independent bookstores’ perspective on selling books after the 2016 election. This collection of Q&As from local booksellers highlights the critical role bookstores play as a gateway to knowledge and ideas.

Similarly, John Hopkins University Press blog contained a post from The Ivy Bookshop that highlighted the mission of both university presses and independent bookstores to serve the community and connect people to ideas. Meanwhile, the University of Minnesota Press blog addressed climate change denial and alternative facts with an essay from John Hartigan Jr. The piece considers the precarious state of facts and knowledge and urges scholars to reconsider the manner in which critique dominates the humanities.

Wednesday’s theme, “Producing the Books that Matters” gave readers a nitty-gritty look behind the production process and the role publishers play in curating content for niche audiences and influencing change in perceptions.

Georgetown University Press provided an insightful Q&A from its Editorial and Production Department about the stages of book production for scholarly work, while UBC Press’s blog post focused on the challenges and rewards of creating a book for a general audience.

Fordham University Press’s blog provided an author’s perspective on the role university presses play in recognizing the value of publishing books for a niche audience, and the University of Michigan Press reflected on its role in dispelling misconceptions through its extensive selection of disabilities studies books.

Thursday’s posts shine on a spotlight on how university presses are using social media to engage with the scholarly community and to promote publications.

Athabasca University Press’s blog post hones in on social media as a tool to increase visibility through purposeful connection with the scholarly community. It illustrates how Facebook Live and live-tweeting lead to authentic engagement and transparency about the industry.

Harvard University Press’s blog post examines the role social media played in the publication of Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide, and reminds readers that “it matters a great deal if you imagine that social media acts on you and not the other way around.”

The week closed with a look into how libraries and librarians are essential in helping us all “look it up.”

The University of Georgia Press blog featured an infographic on how to spot fake news and focused on the Librarian’s role as the “first line of defense against Fake News,” and the University of Alabama Press blog featured a post about its on-campus library system and the distinct role the library plays in helping students and faculty understand the process of finding and evaluating the information they come across.

Altogether, it was another captivating University Press Week Blog tour. Thanks for reading! And thank to the many university presses employees who made the blog tour happen!

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